McLeod West Public Schools is facing its imminent demise, but would like to minimize the consequences for neighboring districts that will absorb its 500 students.
A May 2009 election is scheduled to decide if the district is to be consolidated among three neighboring districts — Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, Buffalo Lake-Hector and Glencoe-Silver Lake. The trio has agreed to absorb McLeod West students, but will not accept its estimated $3 million reorganization debt.
A “no” vote would dissolve the district and force McLeod County commissioners to redraw district lines. Under current law, any reorganization debt would be pushed onto the three districts that take McLeod West pupils.
However, HF1040 would allow McLeod West to authorize a general obligation bond issue, without voter approval, to keep reorganization debt responsibility in its original district.
“We would just like to have this legislation in place to have an orderly transition to move this debt through the consolidation process, said Rep. Ron Shimanski (R-Silver Lake), the bill’s sponsor.
Approved March 2 by the House Finance Committee, it was sent to the House Taxes Committee with the intent to reach the floor quickly. Its companion, SF811, sponsored by Sen. Steve Dille (R-Dassel), was scheduled to be heard March 5 by the Senate E-12 Education Budget and Policy Division.
McLeod West was created when Stewart and Brownton schools merged in 1998. It has experienced severe enrollment decline, as well as facility disrepair in the face of voters’ defeat of both building bond and operating referenda.
Acting McLeod West Superintendent Tony Boyer told the House K-12 Education Finance Division Feb. 25 he’d cautioned voters that defeating the November referendum would only result in higher taxes resulting from the reorganization debt.
“I think you’re going to see this happen again and again in rural Minnesota,” he warned. For now, he said, “We are looking out for the best interests of our students and constituents, not just for today but for the future.”
The year without a K-12 law
School funding is flat, no reforms enacted
(view full story) Published 6/1/2010
House K-12 omnibus bill fast-tracked
Senate slow to respond with companion legislation
(view full story) Published 5/13/2010
K-12 education omnibus bill stalls
Teacher licensure proposals in contention
(view full story) Published 5/6/2010
K-12 education bill moves forward
Measures would activate reforms, stabilize school funding
(view full story) Published 4/29/2010
Resuscitating Race to the Top bid
New bid could hinge on proposals to boost teacher effectiveness
(view full story) Published 4/22/2010
Raiders of the lost fund
Slew of reforms could boost Permanent School Fund income
(view full story) Published 3/25/2010
Schools shore up state’s checkbook
Obscure law forces drawdown of school reserves before state can borrow
(view full story) Published 2/25/2010
At Issue: No shifts, no cuts
Education funding in a holding pattern
(view full story) Published 5/29/2009
At Issue: E-12 education bill that might have been
Funding held steady with no shifts proposed, but no Minnesota Miracle
(view full story) Published 5/15/2009
At Issue: Investing in quality care for kids
Lawmakers hope for long-term benefits of early investment
(view full story) Published 4/24/2009
At Issue: Building a better formula
Omnibus K-12 education finance bill floor debate highlights obstacles
(view full story) Published 4/24/2009
At Issue: Whose values are they anyway?
Lawmaker carries on family legacy with sex education bill
(view full story) Published 4/17/2009
First Reading: One school doesn’t fit all
Efforts put forward to tailor charter school law
(view full story) Published 4/10/2009
At Issue: Hopeful education goals in a dismal year
Omnibus bill addresses changing needs and future demands
(view full story) Published 4/3/2009
At Issue: Getting kids to move
Bill aims to ensure ‘No child left on their behind’
(view full story) Published 2/20/2009
First Reading: Accountability funding for all
A ‘New Minnesota Miracle’ requires a leap of faith
(view full story) Published 2/13/2009
At Issue: Q Comp found wanting
Performance measure has perks, but is it affordable?
(view full story) Published 2/6/2009
At Issue: Reforming education, saving money
Bipartisan support shown for mandate reduction and shared services
(view full story) Published 1/23/2009
Feature: Passing the torch of democracy
Youth immerse themselves in lingo and actions of lawmaking
(view full story) Published 1/16/2009